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*George Suttles was born on this date in 1901. He was a Black baseball player in the Negro Leagues.
From Brockton, Louisiana, the Mule’s thirty-year career in Negro baseball began in 1918, two years before Rube Foster’s Negro National League’s inaugural season, and continued until after Jackie Robinson had his rookie season with the Dodgers under his belt. He grew up in the Birmingham, Alabama area and first attracted the attention of the hometown Black Barons. He signed his first professional contract with that club in 1923.
Widely known as a power hitter (twice leading the league in homeruns), Suttles consistently hit for a high average. In his 21 seasons as an active player he compiled a.321 career batting average. Five times Suttles was elected to participate in the East-West All-Star game. In the first East-West game (played in 1933 at Comiskey Park, Chicago), Suttles hit the first homerun in All-Star history, a three-run shot off Pittsburgh Crawfords’ ace, Sam Streeter.
Playing against white major league squads, including an all-star aggregation headed by Hall-Of-Famer Charlie Gehringer in 1929, Suttles demonstrated his ability to handle major league pitching as he smashed five homeruns in 26 games and compiled a near.400 batting average. Chico Renfroe, former Kansas City Monarchs’ infielder and longtime sports editor of the Atlanta Daily World recalled Suttles as the hitter who "had the most raw power of any player I’ve ever seen.
He went after the ball viciously! He wasn’t a finesse player at all. He just overpowered the opposition." During his career he played with the Birmingham Black Barons, St. Louis Stars, Baltimore Black Sox, Detroit Wolves, Washington Pilots, Chicago American Giants, Newark Eagles, Indianapolis ABCs, and the New York Black Yankees. After cutting back his on-field action Suttles took the controls of the Newark Eagles as field manager. George Suttles died in 1968 in Newark, NJ.
The Negro Baseball Leagues A Photographic History
By Phil Dixon with Patrick J. Hannigan
Copyright 1992, Jed Clauss and Joanna Paulsen
Ameron House Publishing